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Restoring Images


Minoo from India writes “I have photographs compressed for E-mail, but forgot to save the original size. Is there any solution to get back my photographs in original size? Thanks for help in anticipation.”

Hi, Minoo.  Thanks for the great question!

First off, let me make sure that I understand your question correctly.  When you say that you have photographs “compressed” for e-mail, I’m guessing that you don’t mean that you compressed them using some kind of file zipping program, like 7-Zip, but instead that you used a program like Photoshop or Paint to actually make the images smaller and more manageable to BE e-mailed.  If I am reading that right, then I’ll address your question in just a moment.  If I am not, and you actually used a file zipping program to compress these images, then I’ll just let you know that zipping an image file does nothing to the size of the image on your drive, it remains exactly the same.

If I AM reading your question correctly, then let me ask this… I am guessing that since you said that you forgot to save the original size, I’m thinking that what you mean is not so much that you forgot to save them in the original size, but that you saved over the original file with the reduced size file, right?  Trust me… I’ve done this myself, and then immediately kicked myself for it.  I used to have a Mahjongg program that allowed me to create custom tile sets, but the images could be no larger than (if I remember correctly) 240 X 240 pixels.  I ruined a number of my pictures by making them into tile sets and saving the reduced version over the full-sized version. 

If this is the case, then it’s going to come down to a dead horse that I will continue to beat in about 90% of my articles.  WHEN DID YOU DO YOUR LAST BACKUP?  If your answer is “never”, then shame on you and start backing up at least once per month.  If your answer is “before I compressed the pictures”, then you’re in luck… the full-sized images are saved in your backup and you just have to go dig them out and restore them.  If your answer is “after I compressed the pictures” (or “never”), then I’m afraid that you’re just out of luck and stuck with the compressed pictures.

If I have completely misunderstood your question, please drop a line in the comments and let me know and I’ll try to address it.

~Randal Schaffer

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